SunSelect Values Global Development

Posted by SunSelect

August 25, 2014

One of our core values at SunSelect is stewardship. From the management of our resources to the work that is done day-in and day-out: we believe it is essential to remain sustainable. We believe it is imperative to take care of our environment. And above all, we believe it is a privilege to grow fresh, healthy produce for people’s needs.

But we don’t stop there.

The family at Sun Select recognizes that we have a duty to our workers. Some of them have families and communities in foreign countries that can benefit from development projects. That’s why with every Fair Trade sale our greenhouse workers earn Community Development Premiums. These funds go into a separate bank account designated for social, economic and environmental development.

There’s more.

What happens to the money in this account? Well, it is managed by our Fair Trade Committee: a democratic body made up entirely of our greenhouse workers. They know how these premiums can best serve the pressing needs of their communities. After presenting these needs, the committee votes on how to best use these resources to improve each community’s day-to-day life.

Why do we do this?

Because we know sustainability goes beyond a delicious environmentally grown produce; sustainability means partnering with the global community in stewardship.

Watch our video and see how SunSelect is committed to fair trade.

SunSelect earns Fair Trade certification

Posted by Steven

March 26, 2014

Every new season holds promise, but this year at SunSelect Produce, the harvest promises more than just a beautiful crop of high quality peppers. It promises to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who make the harvest itself possible.

When SunSelect, of Aldergrove, B.C., achieved Fair Trade certification in early 2014, it became the first farm in the global north to do so. Along with Fair Trade USA and The Oppenheimer Group, the leading greenhouse pepper grower has embarked on a new learning journey to discover how Fair Trade principles can benefit workers in the global north, in addition to those in the global south.

Approximately 120 SunSelect employees―including roughly 100 men and women from rural communities in Guatemala―will apply the premiums earned through the sale of Fair Trade Certified peppers to projects that address urgent needs in their communities.

“To be recognized in this manner is to honor commitments made to our customers, our staff and our global community,” said Len Krahn, executive manager of SunSelect. “Our top priorities in our lives and our business―to care for the well-being of others and our natural surroundings―haven’t changed, but have been reinforced by the certification process. We are honored to have been selected to join Fair Trade USA on this path, as we see that the Fair Trade principles are critical to the sound operations of all farming in all territories of the world.”

SunSelect was among the first farms in Western Canada to implement a program that enabled people from Guatemala to work in their greenhouses. A solid commitment to its diverse workforce of Canadian citizens and migrant workers, along with an active concern for environmental stewardship, made SunSelect a strong partner for this Fair Trade journey, according to Mary Jo Cook, chief impact officer at Fair Trade USA. Another important reason is the potential to increase the impact of Fair Trade for workers in multiple regions, as the SunSelect season is complementary to the pepper harvest in Mexico, where Fair Trade Certified bell peppers currently come from.

“For the last 15 years, Fair Trade USA has worked primarily with farmers and workers in the developing world,” said Cook. “Through this journey we’ve also come to realize that agricultural workers, whether in the global north or the global south, share common challenges. This is the impetus for our work with SunSelect, and is why we’re learning all we can as we explore the potential of a globally inclusive Fair Trade model.”

Fair Trade is about high-quality products that are grown with care for farmers, care for the environment, and care for the consumer. This approach has made Fair Trade Certified the gold standard for responsible farming practices, fair treatment of workers, environmental protection, and great tasting products. It’s also become an important indication of a company’s values and an effective way to build consumer loyalty.

SunSelect views Fair Trade certification as an opportunity to further demonstrate its commitment to sustainable values, which have been cultivated over many years. By prioritizing renewable resource use, implementing rigorous carbon management practices―including proprietary GC6 green carbon capture technology and climate friendly production standards―and pioneering green packaging, SunSelect has earned its reputation as a leader.

“We are taking this new and exciting step forward to see how Fair Trade can benefit our workers, and also to offer our customers the chance to differentiate in a meaningful way,” said Krahn.

John Anderson, chairman, president and CEO of The Oppenheimer Group, views this as a terrific opportunity to make a difference in many lives while providing discerning consumers with a high quality item that resonates with their values.

“SunSelect has proven their commitment to environmental and social responsibility over the years, but Fair Trade certification elevates their efforts to an even higher level,” he said. “We’re proud to market the first Fair Trade Certified peppers grown in North America, just as we were when we introduced the first Fair Trade peppers from Mexico—grown by our partner Divemex― to our customers a few years ago.”

Oppy now offers Fair Trade Certified sweet bell peppers year round.

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Interview requests please contact:


Karin Gardner
Marketing Communications Manager
The Oppenheimer Group / 206-499-7440

Celebrate Greenhouse Grown

Posted by Steven

March 19, 2014

The springtime veggie harvest has begun! BC Veggie Day celebrates the arrival of locally grown greenhouse vegetables. Meet the people who grow your food and discover how you can celebrate BC Veggie Day with recipes, events, contests and more at

BC Veggie Day celebrates the annual springtime arrival of locally grown greenhouse veggies from BC’s 42 Greenhouse Growers located throughout the Lower Mainland. During the long, dreary winter months our greenhouses are full of activity as new seedlings mature into ripe crops. The fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce and more are harvested and arrive in stores in time for the first day of spring on Thursday, March 20th.

As part of the inaugural BC Veggie Day this year, we have lots of exciting events and initiatives planned. Join us at the Vancouver Art Gallery north plaza on March 20th from 11am – 2pm for our BC Veggie Day Bash featuring a pop-up greenhouse filled with plants and ‘good’ bugs from the Bug Factory, a farmer’s market, live entertainment by emcee Prevail from Swollen Members and the 7 member Vince Vaccaro Band, a first ever pop-up restaurant by Earls Kitchen + Bar and food trucks Verinicey Pankoras and Mangal Kiss. March 20th will be declared “BC Veggie Day” in a special proclamation at noon. Be listening to 93.7 JRfm and 102.7 THE PEAK for live coverage of the event and chances to win some of our veggielicious prize packages.

Watch the BC Veggie Day Video

Watch the SunSelect BC Greenhouse Grown profile

BC Veggie Day Official Proclamation Event

Posted by Steven

March 19, 2014

A party on Georgia Street in Vancouver is the promise for the first day of spring this year.

Join us at the Vancouver Art Gallery north plaza on March 20th from 11am – 2pm for our BC Veggie Day Bash featuring a pop-up greenhouse  filled with plants and ‘good’ bugs from the Bug Factory, a farmer’s market, live entertainment by emcee Prevail from Swollen Members and the 7 member Vince Vaccaro Band, a first ever pop-up restaurant by Earls Kitchen + Bar and  food trucks Verinicey Pankoras and Mangal Kiss. March 20th will be declared “BC Veggie Day” in a special proclamation at noon. Be listening to 93.7 JRfm and 102.7 THE PEAK for live coverage of the event and chances to win some of our veggielicious prize packages.

Watch the BC Veggie Day video profile on SunSelect

SunSelect appoints new CFO

Posted by SunSelect

February 19, 2014


SunSelect appoints Shane Holland as CFO

 Delta, BC, Jan. 16, 2014 –

SunSelect Produce Limited Partnership, one of North America’s largest producers of greenhouse vegetables, is pleased to announce the appointment of Shane Holland as chief financial officer, effectively immediately.

“Shane is an excellent addition to our team as we build out our senior management expertise in preparation to manage SunSelect’s projected future growth,” said Reinhold Krahn, co-founder and CEO of SunSelect Produce. “Shane brings extensive experience from a wide variety of high profile management settings to SunSelect. We look forward to his contribution to our management team.”

Shane Holland has had a great deal of success managing fast-paced organizations. Most recently, he was CFO of Fortius Sport & Health, which opened a flagship $61 million athlete development centre in 2013 in Burnaby, BC. While there, he managed the construction of the facility, oversaw the start-up of the business, and implemented processes and controls as Fortius expanded from five employees to more than 80 staff and contractors. Before that, he was CFO at Greater Vancouver Community Services Society, a major player in senior homecare in Vancouver. Earlier, he was Director of Value in Kind and Sponsorship Revenue for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games (VANOC), a role he held for six years. At VANOC, he was accountable for managing $460 million of in-kind sponsor donations (approximately one quarter of the overall Games budget).

Shane Holland is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) with an MBA from Queen’s University.

SunSelect is one of North America’s leading producers of greenhouse vegetables including red, yellow and orange bell peppers, tomatoes on the vine, and mini and long English cucumbers. With its ProSelect Gas Treating Inc. joint venture, SunSelect is also a technological leader in green carbon capture systems to enable carbon dioxide to be captured from a variety of combustion sources and delivered directly as fertilizer to growing hydroponic vegetables.


B.C. greenhouse uses captured CO2 to grow food

Posted by SunSelect

April 21, 2012

Vancouver Sun – A B.C. greenhouse grower and a Dutch energy company have developed a new carbon-­capture-and-storage technology that relies on the natural need of plants for carbon dioxide to transform carbon contained in biomass into food.

SunSelect Produce Inc. and Procede BV say their carbon-capture-and-storage system is the first commercial operation of its kind in the world to convert the carbon in biomass into fertilizer for food.

The technology is designed to heat greenhouse operations with low-cost biomass, filter emissions, capture the carbon dioxide and feed it to the growing plants as a natural air-borne fertilize, said Victor Krahn, chief executive officer of the joint-venture company, ProSelect Gas Treating. SunSelect Produce unveiled the technology Friday at its 17-hectare Delta greenhouse complex.

“We are taking the carbon and instead of letting it go into the atmosphere, we are converting it to food and eating it,” Krahn said.

“We are eating our way to a carbon-negative future.”

Plants need carbon dioxide, light and heat to grow and the more CO2 they can absorb, the more productive they are, Krahn said.

The technology uses a patented organic liquid to remove the C02 from the exhaust gas stream of the greenhouse biomass burner.

The liquid is then heated, releasing the pure CO2 into the greenhouse for the plants to use.

Krahn said SunSelect’s Delta greenhouse is the first one in the world to have an operating carbon-capture-and-storage system. It removes five tonnes of carbon an hour from the facility’s biomass burner and recycles it for the carbon-­hungry peppers SunSelect grows.

“The system is viable. We feel fantastic about it,” Krahn said.

The innovative carbon-­capture-and-storage system cost $5 million to develop. The joint venture partners received $2.24 million from the British Columbia Innovative Clean Energy Fund and $1.72 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

Krahn said SunSelect switched from natural gas to biomass as a source of heat for its greenhouse several years ago when natural gas prices spiked.

A critical element in the success of the program is that by using biomass, which is considered a renewable energy source, to replace natural gas, a fossil fuel, SunSelect is able to sell its carbon credits through Offsetters, a B.C. organization that certifies greenhouse gas emission reductions by businesses, and buys and sells the resulting credits on B.C.’s carbon market.

“That offsets 10 per cent of the capital costs of the equipment,” Krahn said. “And that’s revenue that comes in every year.”

Linda Delli Santi, executive director of the B.C. Greenhouse Growers Association, said the industry is always looking for innovative technologies that can help it compete against growers in jurisdictions that are not faced with high heating costs.

She said carbon dioxide contained in emissions from natural gas is now being recycled into plants by the B.C. greenhouse sector. A cost-effective system of removing carbon dioxide from biomass could lead to a decreased use of natural gas as a heating fuel in greenhouses, she added.

B.C.’s vegetable greenhouse growers employ about 3,800 people and grossed $245 million in 2011. About 90 per cent of the province’s greenhouse acreage is in the Lower Mainland. Blog: